Today, the Norfolk Admirals announced that Rick Kowalsky has been named the club's assistant coach for the 2005-06 campaign. He comes to Norfolk from the ECHL's Trenton Titans where he was team captain under Admirals' new head coach Mike Haviland last season.
A veteran of 12 professional hockey seasons, Kowalsky appeared in 516 ECHL career games with Trenton, Roanoke and the Hampton Roads Admirals, netting
221 goals and 329 assists for 550 points. In five seasons with the ECHL Admirals, he tallied 98 goals and 142 assists for 240 points in 244 matches.
Last year was a landmark season for Kowalsky. After registering his 400th professional assist (December 4, 2004), 700th pro point (January 9, 2005) and 300th pro goal (April 9, 2005), Kowalsky won his first Kelly Cup Championship with Trenton.
Originally selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 10th round (227th overall) of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, Kowalsky played in 182 AHL career contests with the Cornwall Aces and Portland Pirates between 1993 and 1999. He also appeared in one game with Norfolk in the 2001-02 season. During his tenure in the AHL, Kowalsky netted 35 goals and 57 assists for 92 points and 297 PIM.
The Simcoe, ON, native played briefly for Trenton in 2000-01, netting 17 points in 12 games. He skated with Roanoke from 2001 to 2004, during which time he led the Express in scoring each year. Kowalsky posted career highs in goals (35) and points (83) in 2001-02, and had a career-high 55 assists in 2002-03. He returned to the Titans last season, recording 52 points (23g, 29a) and 81 PIM in 55 regular season games and 23 points (10g, 13a) in 20 playoff matches.
Kowalsky played his junior hockey career with Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) from 1989 to 1993. He went to three consecutive Memorial Cup Championships, winning that title in 1993, and winning the OHL Championship in 1990-91 and 1991-92.